It was nice to watch Carlos Villanueva in action today (even if he didn’t do the hilarious leg kick when he batted). The Brewers’ bats got good wood on him when they swung at early fastballs, but he otherwise looked pretty solidly in control. Villanueva allowed just five hits and one walk in his six scoreless innings, striking out four.
- Yovani Gallardo was Villanueva’s equal, and would have held the Cubs scoreless, but for a dropped David DeJesus pop-up. To their credit, Cubs batters did make Gallardo work a bit, seeing a fair number of pitches in his 5.1 innings of work.
- Cory Wade didn’t fare so well in his first post-big-cuts audition for the final spot in the bullpen. He gave up a homer to tie the game, and was hit relatively hard, even as he was recording outs.
- Zach Putnam wasn’t much better in his inning of work, laboring while giving up a hit and a walk, and at least one very well struck out. He didn’t allow any runs, though.
- Hector Rondon, who is already being given a bullpen job by virtue of his Rule 5 pick-ness, threw a scoreless inning while striking out two. Spring isn’t everything, but I’m cautiously optimistic that the Cubs may have actually found a nice piece.
- Starlin Castro had another two hits today, raising his Spring average to .480. Seems like his skill set – great contact ability, good line drive authority – would play particularly well during Spring Training in Arizona. Hopefully it carries right on into the season.
- Darwin Barney hit his second Spring homer, so his beefcake plan from last year seems to have carried forward. I don’t actually expect him to slug a whole lot this year, but even 10 homers would be a huge boost to his value.
- Dioner Navarro went deep for the third time this Spring. If he hits like he did in (very) limited duty for the Reds last year, the Cubs will probably be no worse than league average, in total, behind the plate this year.
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